New Year Resolutions at Oasis
The turn of the year. A moment to stop, to reflect, to ponder, to anticipate, to plan, to hope, and to dream.
What are our top three dreams for Oasis English Language School in 2018?
1. To invest in our volunteers more.
I had lunch with one of the teachers the other day. She volunteers for two other projects as well as OELS and I was struck when she said, “X really looks after their volunteers well”. Why? What is X doing that we are not? Was this a hint that we don’t do enough “fluffy stuff” (meals together, heartfelt encouragement via texts, conversations or emails) or was it more a cry that we don’t do enough to help our volunteers with the wider aspects of their roles?
As I reflected and pondered I felt that “fluffy stuff” has its place and we could do better in some areas, but we also need to invest more time and energy in equipping our volunteers for conversations beyond the classroom. Our teachers are well qualified people when it comes to delivering good English lessons but few of them have had any cross-cultural training. One of our plans for the next few months is to use the Friendship First Course, inviting all our volunteers and prayer supporters to join us if they would like to learn more about ordinary Christians sharing faith conversations with ordinary Muslims.
2. To give more Churches a better understanding of all that is Oasis.
If you are reading this then the chances are that you know more about Oasis English Language School than many of the Christians living in Ipswich. We want to get people excited about our vision so we’re putting together a presentation which we can deliver in all sorts of places using as little, or as much, media content as is possible in each location. It will be suitable for groups of older friends, for a five-minute slot in a Sunday service and for forming the basis of a dedicated prayer evening. I’m excited by the challenge.
3. To begin to ‘grow our own’.
We want to identify 2 or 3 people who would make excellent teachers and Oasis Extra volunteers and to provide both the finance and the opportunity for them to work with us as they train.
We have one lined up already who has started the TEFL Academy training course. It’s a thrill to see her passion for the nations and we are looking forward to being able to harness this through both the classroom and Oasis Extra opportunities. She’s hoping to join our teaching team after Easter.